What Are You Reading?

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Lord of the Night » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:23 pm

Athelassan wrote:You get that anyway, though. You might as well make the most of it.

Ath

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Finished the 2nd Cal Leandros book Moonshine today and started Johannes Cabal the Detective, 2nd in this series, and am already enjoying it vastly. My favourite exchange thus far,

"A census taker once tried to test me. I let my front garden eat him."
"Your front garden?"
"You didn't expect me to do it, did you?"

Moral. Don't piss off Johannes Cabal, and especially not in his front garden. :lol:


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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Viking Phil » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:04 pm

Today I finished Cain's Last Stand by Sandy Mitchell. As entertaining a book as I've come to expect from the Ciaphas Cain series. Good action, great humour and I've always loved the footnotes.
Tomorrow I start The Emperor's Finest, the next book of the series. I don't think I'll be disappointed.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Lord of the Night » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:25 pm

Viking Phil wrote:Today I finished Cain's Last Stand by Sandy Mitchell. As entertaining a book as I've come to expect from the Ciaphas Cain series. Good action, great humour and I've always loved the footnotes.
Tomorrow I start The Emperor's Finest, the next book of the series. I don't think I'll be disappointed.

The Emperor's Finest is one of the best Cain novels imo. Cain finally meets the Space Marines and Jurgen gets a moment of sheer jaw-hanging badassery.


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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Bellarius » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:55 pm

Lord of the Night wrote:Yeah but if he did that then you'd get people bitching about how the author's are abandoning the old canon and ruining the Heresy.


Then it could have easily been left for a short story. Unlike a certain Imperial Fist fleet battle, it was an event which would only require a handful of chapters to fully go through and explain separately. Either with the White Scars encountering them following the events of the current book, or without them entirely.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Major Rawne » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:50 pm

Got finished with Tome of Fire at the weekend. Really good collection overall, and the Fear the Alien story in particular filled in a nice little gap for me.

Decided I would make a start on a new release, which is something that I don't often do, and read City of the Damned. The prologue certainly has my interest piqued.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby J D Dunsany » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:53 pm

I've read a few things over the last few weeks.

Read Gary McMahon's Beyond Here Lies Nothing, the third and final novel in his Concrete Grove trilogy. Fortunately, you don't need to have read the first two for the third to make sense - although I think I probably should read the other two just to see how things all tie in together. It wasn't a perfect book, by any means (for one thing, the ending's a bit rushed), but it's gritty urban horror and it works for me. I finished it in just a couple of days, too, which is unusual for me.

At the other end of the spectrum, I picked up Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife again and have been slowly working my way through it - and I can kind of see why it won the Orange prize a couple of years ago. It's slow but beginning to pull me in. I'll have more to say about it in a bit, hopefully.

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Xisor » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:19 pm

Barry of Espandor

A Deeper Darkness by Rob Sanders.

Now this is good stuff. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I really enjoyed it. A properly sensible and analytical look at the Ultramarines, but also with a decent amount of introspection and thought to it, without losing a flavour of character and focus. Where Calth that Was aspired tothis (with Ventanus being the central character, with the Ultramarines plight being 'everything'), this actually nailed it. Intelligent, smart, powerful.

Now, what's more atop that, the latter section of the story was gloriously chilling. A proper step, for the Heresy, away from grim-sci-fi-melodrama and into something much more close to horror. That measured up nicely against the Ultramarine/Word Bearer narrative in a way that (of everything) I felt was missed in Know No Fear. A lot of the Ultramarines' shock and disbelief, but not really an exact sympathy with it. This, a much more personal tale, was exquisite in its juxtaposing that professional and fraternal enmity but backing it up with something visceral and tangible and... well portrayed. (Contrast to the rather more rubbish daemons in Know No Fear [one of the few bits I thought Fear to Tread rather excelled in - the 'weirdness' of Chaos].)

Now, a mild criticism (though perennial through the Heresy) is that of how the authors struggle a bit to convey the secular-numinous-believer gulf and its crossing. A little too many 'souls' and easily-accessed archaic words that don't, to my ears and eyes, really ring true with the Imperial Truth's tone as it'd been described. (I'd want to contrast with Sinderman/Loken early on, but I worry that even that niggled a little the wrong way.)

---

The Underworld War by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. A bit more maudlin and melancholic than I normally enjoy, with a bit too easy a take on possession for the bulk, but ultimately I still enjoyed it. It dealt with some really neat themes and dealt with them in a way that had me reeled in quite heartily. Not trite, overall, which I was grateful for, but as I say: a little too strongly melancholic. It leads me to support the people who're clamouring for a 'big shakeup' in the Heresy, along the line of "kill off Lorgar!". I think there's an almost natural, poetic end and justification to the Word Bearer's story that, akin to Night Haunter and the Night Lords, could really be served very beautifully by death.

(And tempered, I suppose, by the idea that Lorgar might not be 'brave' enough to properly die, a la Night Haunter, in the end, instead lingering as more of a... ghost. Such that he's technically not dead, but that he's also certainly not alive or 'truly' ascended or whatnot... I sense a deep and meaningful goldmine in that, one that's so much more interesting than "Lorgar saw that destroying the Emperor wasn't the plan all along, rather he won and Chaos was rife throughout the galaxy forevermore, so he lived happily ever after...".)

---

Athame by John French. Conceptually, really rather lovely. Execution, again: lovely. It's the sort of story that reminds me I love reading BL work. It draws in a little bit of everything, handling it with a degree of sensitivity and attention to detail (and offering extra concepts and connections) that make it a properly rewarding read. Stylistically, it's perhaps not what I'd love to read every story, but it worked really well here and as an addition to French's work, it's a really welcome one. Very enjoyable, and in contrast to a lot of the stories over the HH, it felt properly seamless in its integration with things. I liked it. Where Calth that Was felt like bad fanfiction (akin to a childhood friend who might be invited round to your house and you feel privileged to let them play with your toys... but then they break them all and ruin the day and don't even seem too bothered about it, assuming you can just buy more), this felt like a wonderful homage... 'proper' and high-grade, utterly without pejorative, fanfiction.

---

Unmarked by Dan Abnett.

Aha. This. Oll got a good, enigmatic send-off in Know No Fear. I sympathise with everyone who wasn't satisfied with his inclusion. But it was an anthology-of-one piece, a literary mosaic assembled to be an event rather than a 'conventional' novel... perhaps? In any case, stepping out of the space and time is as good a way to exit stage-left as any. Well, a bit of a subversion, I suppose, but understated.

With everything set up through the anthology, it's a real gem to see this returned to. And Dan Abnett really stepping forth in the territory he's been setting down over his HH works: Legion, Prospero Burns and Know No Fear happily reveal a glorious 'long game' herein that is joyous, for me at least, to feed on drip by drip. Perhaps not too shocking, overall, but it's delivered in a way that's utterly delicious. And, critically, it doesn't close off story-lines for other authors. Rather,it opens massive vistas to explore.

Well, I digress. The actual content of the story is great. It, like a few of the others, is both personal and conversational in its narration: it really works. Where Know No Fear was either a little too vignette-personal or massively cinematic, this intimacy really pays off throughout Barry of Espandor and, by the look of the afterword, Laurie was keen to see that happen too. (And perhaps even, a little like myself, a bit annoyed that this approach wasn't taken up way back at the time of Fulgrim and the dropsite massacre? Well, this man can dream...)

It's Dan: it's a well-written, deeply thoughtful and engaging story. A bridge, certainly, but one that is exceedingly pleasing to cross.

---

As you might detect, I've mixed feelings with the anthology. One one hand, all but one of the stories was somewhere between "hmm, interesting!" and "aha, great!" on my Xisor-scale of ambiguous or amorphous approval. Of course, the elephant in the room is Calth that Was, a bloated bit of rubbish squatting right in the middle to steal all enthusiasm. Like climbing a tedious, rain-swept, windy mountain for a tasty plate of scones. No matter how nice the scones, the slog'll make you resent it all a bit.

Without Calth that Was, I think I'd rate the anthology very highly indeed. With it, I'm damned if I know. It was... overall really good, except 1/4 of it was dross?

Thematically, the anthology was very well themed and handled things very well. It was... coherent. Perhaps a little tedious and could've benefit from being a near-companion release with Betrayer and Know No Fear? Perhaps between Betty, KNF and Barry of Espandor we (the reader) are a bit jaded to the Ultramarine/WB fight now? Add in the audio-books and The First Heretic and Imperium Secundus and The Battle for the Abyss and we've spent a rather huge amount of time/words on the topic.

Still, the anthology's up to scratch (except that... thing) and hits a lovely array of both varied yet united pieces. A very fine presentation. :ugeek:


...


Except for Calth that Was. :evil:
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby sam vimes » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:42 pm

Xisor said
Now, a mild criticism

As always I expect and welcome this from you mainly in the hope that one day you'll praise something outright (and the big E will step off the throne :P ) Me personaly the 'dissapointment' was ADB's story that read as full novel potential to me really good short but I could tell there was a lot more mileage in this shame it was limited to a short.

On topic the latest bleach manga was good Lotn hollowfied captains!!
"Huron-Fal’s systems were on the verge of shutdown ... ‘This death,’ rasped the voder, ‘this death is ours. We choose it. We deny you your victory.’

"Abandon your fear. Look forward. Move forward and never stop. You'll age if you pull back. You'll die if you hesitate."

"From iron cometh strength. From strength cometh will. From will cometh faith. From faith cometh honour. From honour cometh iron." "And may it ever be so"
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Liliedhe » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:15 am

Two more Chapters of Vulkan Lives. Hm, are that two WB with personality? I am pleasantly surprised...

Spoiler: So, Elias made me feel sorry for Erebus. Major achievement. And Narek isnt cardboard, without being 'cynically self aware'.

It is about time not everybody aside from Argel is just a caricature. Ok, Heresy!Marduk isnt, but he is still a ****. And even his author realised the character is most fun when being beaten up :P

So Elias and Narek are breaths of fresh air.

"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Xisor » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:29 am

Liliedhe wrote:Two more Chapters of Vulkan Lives. Hm, are that two WB with personality? I am pleasantly surprised...

Spoiler: So, Elias made me feel sorry for Erebus. Major achievement. And Narek isnt cardboard, without being 'cynically self aware'.

It is about time not everybody aside from Argel is just a caricature. Ok, Heresy!Marduk isnt, but he is still a ****. And even his author realised the character is most fun when being beaten up :P

So Elias and Narek are breaths of fresh air.



Well put!

Kyme seems to be delivering a very neatly done piece here. Almost 17% in and not even a hint of bolter porn! All the good of "Promethean Buns", none of the bad. I like!

Yes, "Vulkan Dies" is going rather well.
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Rob P » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:08 pm

Still reading A Dangerous Talent. Not awful but I probably won't read another from this author. 40 pages or so to go, then on to Master of Dragons, maybe.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Liliedhe » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:26 pm

Xisor wrote:
Liliedhe wrote:Two more Chapters of Vulkan Lives. Hm, are that two WB with personality? I am pleasantly surprised...

Spoiler: So, Elias made me feel sorry for Erebus. Major achievement. And Narek isnt cardboard, without being 'cynically self aware'.

It is about time not everybody aside from Argel is just a caricature. Ok, Heresy!Marduk isnt, but he is still a ****. And even his author realised the character is most fun when being beaten up :P

So Elias and Narek are breaths of fresh air.



Well put!

Kyme seems to be delivering a very neatly done piece here. Almost 17% in and not even a hint of bolter porn! All the good of "Promethean Buns", none of the bad. I like!

Yes, "Vulkan Dies" is going rather well.


Am I the only one whom this title makes think of Transformers?

"Trypticon LIVES! And Autobot City DIES!" Galvatron, Large Ham.
"You were a warleader, a fighter, when did you gain such illuminating insight into the minds of others?"
"I learned such things as you and your brothers applied brand to my flesh and parted skin with rasp and knife," snarled Astelan. "When your witches tried to prise open my mind they opened me for an instant and I stared back."
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby revelation » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:22 pm

Xisor wrote:
Liliedhe wrote:Two more Chapters of Vulkan Lives. Hm, are that two WB with personality? I am pleasantly surprised...

Spoiler: So, Elias made me feel sorry for Erebus. Major achievement. And Narek isnt cardboard, without being 'cynically self aware'.

It is about time not everybody aside from Argel is just a caricature. Ok, Heresy!Marduk isnt, but he is still a ****. And even his author realised the character is most fun when being beaten up :P

So Elias and Narek are breaths of fresh air.



Well put!

Kyme seems to be delivering a very neatly done piece here. Almost 17% in and not even a hint of bolter porn! All the good of "Promethean Buns", none of the bad. I like!

Yes, "Vulkan Dies" is going rather well.


NEEDS MORE DAKKA!

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby sam vimes » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:48 am

Dakka dakka dakka dakka dakka
"Huron-Fal’s systems were on the verge of shutdown ... ‘This death,’ rasped the voder, ‘this death is ours. We choose it. We deny you your victory.’

"Abandon your fear. Look forward. Move forward and never stop. You'll age if you pull back. You'll die if you hesitate."

"From iron cometh strength. From strength cometh will. From will cometh faith. From faith cometh honour. From honour cometh iron." "And may it ever be so"
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Mossy Toes » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:01 am

revelation wrote:Image



This image... may have inspired a flurry of writing that resulted in my latest RiaR.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Rob P » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:50 pm

Finished A Dangerous Talent. S'alright.

I still have about 15 books bought pre-2013 to read plus half dozen H&B stories. And i'm drawn to Blighted Empire and Master of Dragons (and note the final Tyrion and Teclis book is out in Nov).

My plan to clear my back log before buying more is failing!
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Bellarius » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:07 pm

Attempted to read S.M. Stirling's Draka series. Given up part way through book two on accounts of knowing too much about basic history and thinking about what i'm reading. It would be a series book if so much of it didn't make any sense.

The last time I saw someone giving a side a God-Mode cheat/enforced idiot plot this badly was when the Travissty was writing about Mandalorians.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Lord of the Night » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:14 pm

Bellarius wrote:The last time I saw someone giving a side a God-Mode cheat/enforced idiot plot this badly was when the Travissty was writing about Mandalorians.

Really?? I just felt it was an author FINALLY showing that the Jedi are not infallible and that some of what they can can be construed as quite bad. Such as indoctrinating children into emotionless cultists that look down upon everyone else as uncivilised and believe they know what is best in every occasion. And the Mandalorians, who are some of the deadliest warriors in the galaxy, getting an author who appreciates them and gives us a novel series with likeable characters whose motivations are completely understandable.

But each to their own.


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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Bellarius » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:45 pm

Lord of the Night wrote:Really?? I just felt it was an author FINALLY showing that the Jedi are not infallible and that some of what they can can be construed as quite bad. Such as indoctrinating children into emotionless cultists that look down upon everyone else as uncivilised and believe they know what is best in every occasion. And the Mandalorians, who are some of the deadliest warriors in the galaxy, getting an author who appreciates them and gives us a novel series with likeable characters whose motivations are completely understandable.


If you believe any of that then you have not the slightest idea of how the Jedi work, or the Mandalorians for that matter.
Traviss' writings were driven by a lack of research and personal hatred for how she perceived the Jedi. She openly admitted repeatedly that she did not read books by other authors about the universe, did not keep track of events or even look up what had been done with the Expanded Universe. Her response to people citing her getting facts wrong or writing things which were highly questionable consisted of her openly insulting them (to the point of openly saying anyone who supported the Jedi were morally wrong, not to mention neo-Nazis) and proceeding to ignore anything said. It reached the point where, rather than correcting a very questionable detail that said the Republic Army was only 3,000,000 strong, she wrote a hateful and badly thought out short story saying the Jedi and Confederacy were conspiring to disguise the actual numbers involved in the Clone Wars.

The Mandalorians are some of the deadliest warriors in the galaxy, no argument there. Traviss turned them into people who make John Matrix's skills look realistic and the Jedi into foolish caricatures of themselves, often at the cost of their established personalities, histories and killing off characters belonging to other authors.

Also, please don't call her an author. Authors try to write stories, not badly disguised hate essays filled with strawmen and personal mouthpieces. At that point you have a hack.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby sam vimes » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:39 pm

Bit harsh Bellarius but each to there own view, me personally I like Karen's books her novel sacrifice in the legacay of the force series was one of the more enjoyable books in that whole sorry confused disjointed series, after that I gave up on star wars as a rule who knows maybe with the new movies we'll get some of the magic back.
"Huron-Fal’s systems were on the verge of shutdown ... ‘This death,’ rasped the voder, ‘this death is ours. We choose it. We deny you your victory.’

"Abandon your fear. Look forward. Move forward and never stop. You'll age if you pull back. You'll die if you hesitate."

"From iron cometh strength. From strength cometh will. From will cometh faith. From faith cometh honour. From honour cometh iron." "And may it ever be so"
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